How to Reach Out and Touch a Brit (With Media)

Sweeping U.K. Institute of Practitioners Study Looks at Attitudes, Behavior and Consumption

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LONDON (AdAge.com) -- Media are inescapable. They're present in every aspect of life, at all times and in all locations. A realistic approach to media research today has to take into account that we expect to be stimulated constantly without concern for channels.

With this in mind, the U.K.'s Institute of Practitioners in Advertising devised TouchPoints, a consumer-centric survey that looks intimately at daily behavior and media consumption across all platforms in the region.

This study -- the first update to the original done in 2006 -- employed 5,400 participants, each of whom recorded their activities, moods, location and social activity every half hour during the course of a week at the turn of this year. They also completed a substantial questionnaire about their attitudes and behavior.

The original survey helped Rupert Murdoch's News International understand that commuters were not reading newspapers on their way home after work, identifying an opportunity for a free evening newspaper, the London Paper, which launched in September that year. The paper focuses on entertainment and nightlife because during the evening people are more interested in thinking about their social lives than hard news.

TouchPoints has been radically updated since the original survey to include a stronger perspective on digital media. The survey found that in general, adults use the internet for information, and young people use it for entertainment.

Multitasking youngsters
Jim Marshall, chairman of Starcom MediaVest Group U.K. and chairman of the I.P.A. Media Futures Group, said: "Younger people have a very different behavior and do much more multitasking; it's an indication of how people will behave in the future."

But one of the major findings this year is that traditional media are holding up well. While there is a definite undercurrent toward digital, driven by 15- to 24-year-olds and filtering through to other age groups, people seem to be consuming more media generally.

Every day in the U.K., people spend 24% of their time watching T.V.; 13% are listening to the radio; 7% are on the internet and 3% read newspapers and magazines. Here are some more findings of the survey, including their attitudes on advertising.
73%
Internet penetration in the region now compared with 58% two years ago
THE INTERNET
Internet penetration in the region now stands at 73% compared with 58% two years ago. Time online has increased from 0.75 hours to 1.07 hours on an average weekday and 0.59 hours on the weekend. The internet is mostly used for information, followed by communicating with others and making purchases or keeping in touch with family and friends. Among 15 to 24-year-olds, 70% said entertainment is the main driver; 60% said keeping in touch is the motivator.

More than a third (37%) of 15- to 24-year-olds and nearly a quarter (24%) of adults read blogs, and a quarter of 15- to 24-year-olds have commented on a posting. Around 15% of all adults write blogs.
40%
of internet users have used at least one social-networking site.
SOCIAL NETWORKING
During the past year, 40% of internet users have used at least one social-networking site. The figure rises to 73% for 15- to 24-year-olds and falls to 8% for those over age 65.

At the time of the survey, more than a third (36%) of 15- to 24-year-olds had visited a social-networking site in the past 24 hours, and almost half (49%) had done so in the past seven days.

During a week, social-networking sites are the most visited sections of the internet for 15- to 24-year-olds, with 58% saying they visit them, compared with 26% of all adult internet users.

Fifty-one percent of 15- to 24-year-old internet users have visited Facebook in the last four weeks.
18%
of all adults have watched TV via the internet -- 29% of them under age 25 and 4% of them over 65.
THE INTERNET AS A PLATFORM FOR CONSUMING TRADITIONAL MEDIA
About 18% of all adults have watched TV via the internet -- 29% of them under age 25 and 4% of them over age 65.

In the past four weeks, 26% of internet users have accessed a TV station's website; 21% have accessed a radio-station website and 14% have read a national newspaper online. The national-newspaper websites attract younger and more upscale audiences than their print counterparts.

A full 27% of 15-to-24-year-olds listen to the radio via the internet, compared to 18% of all adults.
53%
More than half of cellphone users could not imagine life without their cellphones.
MOBILE PHONES
More than half (53%) of cellphone users could not imagine life without their cellphones. This peaks at 72% among 15- to 24-year-olds and drops to 25% among those over 65.

Thirteen percent of cellphone users have watched video clips on their phones in the last month. This rises to 30% among 15- to 24-year-olds but falls to 2% for those over age 65.

Ninety-five percent of cellphone users use text messaging regularly.

Sixty-two percent of cellphone users 15 to 24 say they ignore all commercial text messages they receive, and 60% agree that they are intrusive.
15%
of respondents enjoy watching ads starring their favorite celebrities, though the tally rises to 18% for people 15 to 24.
ADVERTISING AND BRANDS
Only 15% of respondents enjoy watching ads starring their favorite celebrities, though the tally rises to 18% for people aged 15 to 24.

Twenty-three percent of 15-to-24-year-olds often talk about TV ads with friends. Sixty-six percent feel better about brands that sponsor projects to help the community -- those over age 65 (70%) are the most likely to agree with this statement.

Eighty-five percent of respondents feel it is important a company acts ethically.

Eighty-two percent said some ads appear so many times they become irritating.
92%
Entertainment is the main reason for watching followed by news and escapism, both at 67%.
TRADITIONAL MEDIA
Although there has been a slight drop in the number of hours adults spend watching TV on an average weekday (down to 3.69 hours from 3.71 hours), time spent watching TV on the weekend has risen from 4.02 hours a day to 4.29 hours.

Ninety-one percent of adults prefer to read their national newspaper's print edition.

Thirty-nine percent say outdoor advertising gives them something to look at while traveling.

Two-thirds are annoyed by the amount of direct mail that comes through their doors (although 55% still open it), and one-third have bought something in response to a direct mailing in the last year.
84%
of adults consume two or more media in the same half hour
MEDIA MULTITASKING
Thirty-six percent of texting takes place when watching TV; 17% while listening to the radio; 14% while using the internet and 7% when reading.

Eighty-four percent of adults consume two or more media in the same half hour, up from 79% two years ago. Watching TV while using other media is most common in the evening, with the over-55s leading the way -- possibly because younger people are out socializing.

At all times of the day, more people use the internet alongside other media than use the internet on its own.
22%
feel what they do in life doesn't make any difference to the environment.
PERSONAL
Sixty-two percent of adults are concerned about the impact of human activity on the environment, and 85% make a real effort to recycle waste. Only 22% feel what they do in life doesn't make any difference to the environment. Low carbon emissions are high on the list of must-haves for 52% of all adults if they were to buy a new car.

Six percent of adults agree life is getting more stressful. Women (70%) are more likely than men (64%) to find life stressful. Despite this, 62% of adults remain optimistic about life.

Only 14% of adults think the best measure of success is money: 58% actively do not.
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